We have all been told by our federal and state government that marijuana kills, is terrible for our health, leads to usage of drugs like meth, heroin, and cocaine, turns us into lazy, mind-numbed citizens, and users are often stereotyped as “lazy, brain-numbed, unmotivated citizens.” I have been working as an IT professional for over a decade now, and pride myself as being a motivated, hard-working, responsible citizen of our great state of Georgia. I’m married, own a home, pay my taxes, and contribute just as much if not more than other marijuana opposers. I have been forced to stop using marijuana due to the fact that terrible penalties are a very real possibility if I were caught using this completely natural, god-given substance to reduce my chronic shoulder pain, insomnia, and anxiety issues. While using marijuana, my shoulder pain was actually bearable, I was able to sleep all night and maintain a healthy sleep schedule, I was also able to better deal with the high levels of anxiety experienced and inflicted by working in today’s stressful society and corporate work mayhem. As I said, I was forced to make the decision to stop using marijuana to remedy my ailments out of fear of losing my home, job, my wife’s job, vehicles, etc. I have since attempted the “legal and safe” options labeled “safe and approved” by our government and current laws. I visited multiple doctors who prescribed Xanax for my anxiety, Ambien for my sleep disorder, and hydrocodone/Flexeril for my chronic shoulder pain caused by an early sports injury. Xanax turned me into a walking zombie… I was unable to think clearly, computer program for my job, interact socially as before, and was left feeling hung-over after taking the pills. Ambien caused me to hallucinate and have terrible dreams, as well as starting my morning out feeling groggy and less than motivated for the day ahead. The prescription pills given to me for my shoulder pain basically paralyzed me and kept me from performing daily duties as simple as taking out the trash, mowing my yard, or running to the grocery store to grab dinner for my family. If I were able to use marijuana as I did before, without the fear of being arrested and having everything I love taken away from me by the DEA and local law enforcement agencies, I would be able to function at 100% as before. I have stopped using the “approved and safe” prescriptions provided to me for my issues by doctors and have been left to suffer with no viable solutions in sight. Legal prescription drugs are causing entirely more problems with overdoses, side effects, addiction, among countless other ramifications. It’s time that we reform these antiquated laws that criminalize a completely safe and all-natural plant that could be helping and assisting countless honest citizens with a wide array of physical and phycological ailments. It shouldn’t be left up to our government to force us to use harmful prescription drugs when there is a safe and effective natural herb that could be helping so many people. I’d be more than happy to purchase marijuana legally, pay sales tax on the substance, and use it in a responsible manner. I shouldn’t be forced to kill my liver, kidneys and other organs by using what our government has deemed “safe and appropriate.” The benefits of marijuana highly outweigh any negatives that opposers want to use against the legalization of this miracle herb. Abusers and people just looking to get “wasted” are going to abuse substances whether that substance is legal or not. I have seen so much harm and death caused by alcohol and prescription drugs that I have never experienced or heard of concerning marijuana usage. It doesn’t make sense to provide pills legally to our citizens that will kill you, while putting people in jail for ingesting a substance that has never caused an overdose or negative side effect and has been used for thousands of years. If our government officials legislators actually cared about their citizens and constituents, they would decriminalize marijuana and allow people to choose a healthy, natural alternative to prescription drugs and alcohol if they elect to do so. America is “Land of the Free” right? I personally would choose to put natural earth-grown substances instead of synthetic man-made chemicals in my body if I were provided the chance to do so without fear of government agencies taking everything I love away for self-helping myself with a natural God-given herb such as marijuana. Legalize it if you want to do what’s best for your citizens US and GA government officials. It’s not rational to keep supporting an antiquated law that was based primarily on racial bias in the first place. Legalize it!
Sharon is a wife, mother, caregiver, business owner and life long resident of Georgia. Her eyes were opened when her family was traumatized by the “War on Drugs”, she uses her ears to listen to other victims and her voice to tell their stories and educate others on the direct and indirect harms of prohibition and how it affects us all.
Sharon has been a guest on numerous radio stations across the country as well as local and regional TV news affiliates. As well as LadyBud Magazine, HighTimes Magazine and Main Street. She was recently nominated by Mass/Cann NORML for National Female Activist of the Year. Sharon has traveled the country speaking on various topics including drug policy, activism, southern strategies and harm reduction. She produces a segment on 420radio.com highlighting the stories and work of other women in the fight to end marijuana prohibition.